ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) – Lawyers for Mason Sisk said in a court filing Thursday that Sisk – who is accused of killing five family members when he was 14 – was sexually abused as a small child, suffered and witnessed familial abuse.

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The filing is aimed at offering mitigating factors for possible sentencing, something short of life in prison without parole, if Sisk is convicted of capital murder.

He is set to go on trial Sept. 12. Sisk also has a court hearing Friday, Aug. 26, over a defense motion asking the judge to toss statements he gave the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office – including an alleged confession – the night his family was killed at their Elkmont home in September 2019.

Sisk is accused of fatally shooting John Wayne Sisk, 38; his stepmother, Mary Sisk, 35; and three siblings — Kane, a 6-year-old boy;  Rorrie, a 5-year-old girl, and Colson, a 6-month-old boy.

Prosecutors alleged in June that Sisk had anger control issues, tried to poison his mother – who had a peanut allergy – with peanut butter and was forceful with his siblings.

In Tuesday’s court filing, Sisk’s attorneys listed a number of factors that they argue the court should consider in determining a just sentence for Sisk, including:

Note: This list is directly from the court filing

  • The Defendant’s chronological age at the time of the offense and the features of youth, such as immaturity, impetuosity, and the failure of the Defendant to appreciate the risks and consequences
  • The Defendant had diminished culpability
  • The Defendant’s emotional maturity and development
  • The Defendant’s past exposure to violence
  • The Defendant’s ability to deal with the police
  • The Defendant’s mental-health history
  • The Defendant’s potential for rehabilitation
  • The Defendant was the victim of bullying behavior in school
  • The Defendant has mental health diagnoses that diminish his culpability;
  • The Defendant was the victim of and witness to familial abuse;
  • The Defendant was the victim of sexual abuse as a small child

The defense also claims that Sisk was not read his Miranda rights before being questioned by investigators and later by then-Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely. The prosecution says Sisk was not in custody at the time he began answering questions.